Executive Coaching is a buzz word in leadership circles these days. And this leadership development tool is gaining popularity for good reason.
In basics, executive coaching works to unlock leadership potential, lift engagement and boost performance to create dynamic and focused organisations. Executive coaches guide leaders to develop and produce meaningful change. For the individual and for their organisation.
From a professional standpoint, this all sounds ideal, right? Well then. It’s time we take a look at the benefits of executive coaching!
Executive Coaching Benefit #1 Navigating change
The world of today is rapidly changing, and this is even truer when it comes to the world of business. Which makes organisational change a must.
Yet, change can be difficult for executives to navigate and implement. Change initiatives, for the most part, require heavy workloads, longer hours, and helping others through said changes.
So, this is where executive coaching enters the picture. In essence, executive coaches help leaders navigate change at a professional and organisational level. Coaches ensure executives have the right skills, right knowledge and right strategies in place, by offering a collaborative process in:
Brainstorming: using mind-mapping, role-playing, and visualisation to generate new ideas and uncover new angles for the executive leader
Awareness: executive coaches encourage leaders to engage in self-reflection to gain awareness of barriers to effectiveness
Action plans: coaches facilitate the creation of action plans to “get unstuck”, be it in navigating resistance, or simply “paralysis analysis”.
Accountability: coaching sessions commit to leader priorities to keep them focused on the big picture (while accomplishing those tactical details)
Encouragement: coaches help executives establish milestones to measure progress, and encourage them where progress has or can be made
Executive Coaching Benefit #2 Objective support
Now, leaders have a lot to be answerable for. They’re the ones who are expected to have “all the answers” AND to produce the big guns: results. With this level of responsibility, executive leaders need a support system (in order to support others).
Yet executives tend to draw the short end of the support stick. The hard reality is: the higher you climb in an organisation, the harder it can be to come by support. And so executive coaches mentor leaders by offering a much-needed support base.
Executive coaches offer a confidential space for leaders to work through issues, test ideas and make decisions. They use their objective standpoint to offer constructive feedback and solutions.
Executive Coaching Benefit #3 Constructive feedback
Now what comes hand in hand with support is feedback. Executives are humans too. They can make mistakes. And what makes mistakes easy to avoid and/or overcome is feedback. The constructive kind.
Concerningly, constructive feedback can be hard to come by for executives. Often their people will withhold feedback…either from fear of negative repercussions, a place of deference, or a simple lack of knowledge.
In which case, executive coaches operate as that necessary “truth teller”. Executive coaching is feedback intensive. To say the least. Executive coaches provide feedback based on their own observations, through 360 feedback tools and/or stakeholder interviews.
They also often include data gathered from interviews with the person’s manager, peers, direct reports and other assessment tools. Hard truths for hard results.
Executive Coaching Benefit #4 Leadership development
Now, leadership comprises all kinds of skills, qualities and competencies such as creating a vision, effectively communicating, inspiring team members, mentoring, being emotionally intelligent… the list is endless.
Developing all of these necessary competencies by yourself can be a bit of a challenge. So, time to bring in an executive coach! Executive coaching streamlines professional development as coaches provide the opportunity, time, place and space for executives to polish up their leadership skills.
They also frame the leader’s development within the context of the company’s strategic business objectives. In other words, they build the leader’s ability to motivate and inspire people that matter: stakeholders and/or followers.
Executive Coaching Benefit #5 A customised approach
There are plenty of pragmatic methods out there for executives to choose from. Yet sometimes they may not be applicable or relevant to your role. On the flip side, executive coaching doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach. Executive coaching focuses on tailored solutions for executive development.
Executive coaches aren’t big fans of cookie-cutting. So, they focus on an executive’s specific goals, personality and professional circumstances, using a number of journey touch points to directly address needs.
By tailoring solutions, coaches help executives achieve stated objectives and outcomes, and make it easy to transfer learning from the coaching session to the workplace.
Executive Coaching Benefit #6 Better productivity & stress management
Now, the high demands of leadership roles tend to leave little time for self-care. But life can’t be all work and no play. In fact, the life part of the equation is the support environment for the “work” part.
So, call in the executive coach. It’s intervention time!
Executive coaches balance out the work-life spectrum. Executive coaching promotes equilibrium by cutting through entrenched behaviours and offering tools to better cope with stressful or challenging situations.
Basically, executive coaches provide fresh solutions for work-life problem-solving. Things like positive relationships, reducing and managing stress, increasing your sense of purpose at work, building confidence and boosting wellbeing. All the good stuff in life.
Executive Coaching Benefit #7 Goal Attainment
Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love to achieve a goal? It’s just an inherently satisfying thing. What’s more…goal attainment is the whole point of leadership! Executives are leading their company and followers towards a strategic objective. An end result.
And so, executive coaching draws on personalised, strengths-based approaches, to help executives lead and achieve strategic objectives. Executive coaching enhances goal management and attainment increasing self-awareness, support and a shift in perspective.
Executives effectively learn how to harness their own strengths (and their team’s) to increase productivity, performance, and a stronger execution on strategic imperatives.
Whether it is navigating change and goal achievement, objective support and constructive feedback, or work-life balance and professional development, executive coaching is gaining popularity with good reason.
Sometimes leaders and their organisations need a helping hand. A bit of objective intervention and/or guidance. And this is where executive coaching shines: by producing a meaningful change for leaders and those they lead.